Abstracts November 2013

November 2013, Vol. 18, No. 2
ISSN 1540 5273

Exploring Determinants of Consumer Energy Conservation Decision-Making as a Foundation for Residential Energy Conservation Programs

Autumn H. Guin, Sarah D. Kirby North Carolina State University


A relatively small number of recent relevant studies on consumer energy use reduction behavior or energy conservation education initiatives exist despite the fact that ecological models of consumer energy use attribute 85 percent of all energy use to consumer lifestyle decisions. According to the Consumer Lifestyle Approach (CLA), the direct and indirect consumption of energy by consumers is the most significant factor impacting energy use in the United States. The Consumer Lifestyle Approach postulates that external environment, individual characteristics, household demographics, and consumer choice impact consumer energy use behaviors and consequences. Identifying factors that contribute to consumer energy conservation practices and using these factors to tailor energy conservation education programs to change consumer energy use attitudes and behaviors is one essential step to reduce overall energy use and expenditures. This paper brings together literature on the ecological context in which consumers use energy, determinants of consumer energy conservation attitudes and behaviors, and models of consumer energy use decision making toward a discussion of elements necessary to create impactful consumer energy conservation education programs. Full Text

TANF and SNAP Participation Fluctuations during the Great Recession and Implications for Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension Services

Anthony Setari, Julie N. Zimmerman, University of Kentucky


Much of FCS Cooperative Extension’s work is focused on low-income families. Understanding the differential impact of the recent recession on the use of public assistance can provide important insights useful for directing FCS Extension programming efforts. This analysis uses a stepwise spatial comparison to examine changes in unemployment, SNAP cases, and TANF cases during the Great Recession by economic area in an example state, Kentucky. The results find that SNAP increases were similar throughout the state but TANF fluctuations varied. These results suggest that FCS Cooperative Extension may need to reevaluate their program implementation strategy and target economic areas where an increased need is likely. Additionally, resource management programs may need to target areas where SNAP participation increased but TANF participation did not. Full Text

Smart Child Care: Caregiver Education for Parents, Family, Friends, and Neighbors

Brian Higginbotham, Dan Hatch, Marilyn Albertson, Naomi Brower, Collin Perryman, Utah State University


Smart Child Care is an innovative Extension program designed to teach key childcare skills to family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregivers and parents. Results from 82 FFNs and parents, who varied in age and ethnic background, indicated the program is highly effective in increasing knowledge and skills, especially among those with fewer children, among ethnic minorities, and among those who had not previously taken a parenting course. Participant satisfaction was high and did not depend on participant characteristics, suggesting the program is helpful to a broad array of caregivers. Full Text

Best practices: Motivating Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Application

Jacquelyn W. McClelland, Carolyn L. Bird, North Carolina State University


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides resources to aid low-income families in obtaining food. Not all of those eligible for SNAP participate. Those eligible but not participating are at risk for food insecurity and increased rates of obesity. Finding the most effective way to enroll eligible people is critical. This study compares various delivery techniques in motivating older adults’ interest in applying for SNAP.

More In My Basket, an educational program targeting limited-resource audiences and based on the Transtheoretical Model and the Theory of Planned Behavior, encourages SNAP participation and dispels myths about the program. Methods included training 57 Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agents to deliver the program in their counties. Three program delivery formats (group, booth, and individual) were developed, delivered, and evaluated for effectiveness resulting in intention to apply for SNAP benefits.

Findings show that the three information-delivery venues and methods were not equally effective in motivating participating older adults to planned action. Out of 1,430 participants, the majority (65 percent) who indicated intention to apply made the decision as a result of individual consultations. Logistic regression on differences in motivation to enroll based on delivery format, income, race, age, and gender revealed statistically significant differences in the effectiveness due to delivery format and income. Full Text


The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Dr. Ken Robinson

Reviewed by Kim Allen Full Text




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